As clichéd as it is, I reckon that one of the many amazing things about parenthood is how much we learn from our children, mostly when we’re trying to teach them stuff. Sometimes it’s a gradual feeling like a fog clearing, other times it’s like being slapped in the face with a wet flannel, but I know that I’m a much bigger and better person than I was before I had kids . We recently had a holiday which included a visit to the snow. We had intended to make snowmen, maybe hire a tobggan, and just generally have a fun hour or two in the snow, with a bonus being if one or other of us could sneak off for a run or two on the snowboard. Our last visit to the snow had been with a 6 week old baby and a two-year old - I won’t go into it but many hopes were dashed that day. This visit was quite different.
On arrival at the mountain our five-year old announced that she would like to ski, followed of course by an echo from our three-year old that she was going to ski too. There was no dissuading them, so lift passes and equipment were obtained. And wouldn’t you know it, away they went.
Miss Five took a little longer to warm up due to a technical incident involving her mother cutting the circulation to her feet by doing the boots up too tight (too many memories of days as a wanna-be ski racer) and there was a grim period over lunch with an almost unrecoverable melt-down from Miss Three due to mis-timing of the provision of food. At this point the father did comment that it looked as though it would be several years before we would be doing this again.
However, the afternoon was magic. They were both away, which was just amazing to watch, and were so keen on the whole thing that we went back again the next day. I was surprised to find myself not in the slightest bit disappointed that the only contact I had had with my snowboard was to lug it from the car to the snow and back again - it was just such a buzz to watch and help the girls get the hang of it. Miss Three did struggle with the fact that she could not actually do every single possible part of the whole game on her own. The fact that you couldn’t actually ski uphill was difficult to accept, and we spent quite some time sitting adjacent to the lift queue, watching it gradually pass us by, while she refused all help to actually enter the queue.
This is where some serious self-reflection was required by me. As a child we lived for some time near the mountain, and spent a lot of time skiing. In those days it was all about maximising run time and minimising queue time. It took all my willpower to actually sit calmly beside the queue, doing nothing for maybe 20 minutes, until one of my interminttent offers of help was accepted. And why not? It was a sunny, warm day, not uncomfortable, quite pleasant in fact. But a huge challenge to my idea of what skiing was about. So now I’m thinking more about all those moments when I bite the inside of my cheek wanting to keep things moving along - maybe it’s more important to try to relax and enjoy that moment for what it’s really about.
Spinach and Blue Cheese Pasta
If you like blue cheese try this on your kids - mine love it and it’s super easy.
A big bunch spinach
A packet of pasta
Light sour cream
Parmesan cheese to serve
Cook a packet of pasta according to the directions. While it’s cooking, melt a cup of light sour cream and 100 g of blue cheese (if you want in creamier and less strong use more sour cream) in the microwave. Saute some chopped spinach and garlic in a frypan. When the pasta’s cooked mix everything together in a big bowl, then serve topped with grated parmesan cheese.